Just when I think I'm done with post-apocalyptic/dystopic YA, they reel me back in.
It's the old story of kids get a disease that grown-ups don't get, kids that live get superpowers, kids are rounded up by a terrified government and put into "rehabilitation camps," one kid survives by pretending she's something else, kid gets "rescued" by a "liberating" organization, kid escapes from them and ends up with a group of other kids looking for... something.
What I really appreciated about this story was the first-hand account of the disease-caused teen apocalypse. We see a lot more stories of kids who are a few generations into the ruined world, but for Ruby, this happened to her when she was ten. She was in a camp for six years. So, when she gets out she basically still doesn't know what's going on and her primary motivation is fear. As a reader, you are learning about this world alongside her.
The supporting cast is awesome (Zu! Chubs [my fav]! Liam [the apocalyptic Augustus Waters]!), and Ruby is super smart if a bit naive and insecure. Like a real teenager! Her powers are unusual, but she's not a prodigy. She manages to save the day and then fail big time. She both under and overestimates herself. All the unfolding of plot and characters that happens in this story is really quite terrifying. The romance is sweet; it's secondary to the plot but I didn't find it boring. There was a period in the book that I was worried, like REALLY worried, that is was getting into creepy love triangle territory (see Shatter Me and Enclave) but girlfriend wised up and I actually said out loud at one point, "yes! good girl." I totally talked to this book throughout my listening experience, actually.
And finally, the narrator of this audiobook was amazeballs. I loved her, she had me totally captivated. I laughed, I cried, I screamed at them to run, I was loathe to get out of my car. It was one of those great audio experiences that really enhanced the story. Thanks Amy McFadden!